Vorticism was born in London during the summer of 1914, as Europe teetered on the brink of a cataclysmic war. The Vorticists set out to break decisively with the past and to forge an art that expressed the dynamism of the modern age.
Named by the American poet and critic Ezra Pound and largely driven by the explosive energy of the British artist Wyndham Lewis, the movement lasted a mere four years. In that time it had a profound influence, not only on painting and sculpture but also on woodcuts, photography and graphic design. The journal Blast, founded by Lewis and Pound, remains one of the most original and iconoclastic publications of the twentieth century. Artists associated with the movement include Lewis, David Bomberg, Alvin Langdon Coburn, Jacob Epstein, Henri Gaudier- Brzeska, William Roberts, Helen Saunders, and Edward Wadsworth.
For the first time, drawing on new research, this book goes beyond a purely British interpretation of Vorticism, tracing the movement¿s connections with both New York and mainland Europe. Published to accompany a major, touring exhibition, with contributions from leading scholars on both sides of the Atlantic, this extensively illustrated survey provides a long overdue reassessment of a moment in art history that continues to reverberate down the years.
Mark Antliff is Professor, Art History & Visual Studies, Duke University, Durham, North Carolina.
Vivien Greene is Curator of 19th- and Early 20th-Century Art, Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York.